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Weekend in Nashville-trip report

BetsyinKY | Jan 6, 201408:47 PM

So, my husband and I found ourselves with a few extra days of Christmas break this year and decided to take a quick road trip to Nashville. I did a little bit of research on here before we left and thought I'd give a brief report of what we ate. Coming off Christmas, we were in a very low key and casual mood, so we did not do any upscale places.

We got there on a very cold and snowy Thursday evening and pulled right in to Hattie B's Hot Chicken. This was our first experience with hot chicken and it was a good one. I had the medium and the husband had the mild and we were both really pleased with our decisions. I don't know how much hotter I could have taken it, though. Medium was plenty hot for me! The sides here were really good, too. In fact, I think the baked beans were some of the best I've had in a restaurant.

Friday morning, we decided to try our luck at the Loveless Cafe. I picked this mostly because my husband loves breakfast food and also because we were going out to Belle Meade, so they were sort of in the same direction. Plus, as touristy as it is, it is somewhat famous, so I thought I'd see what it was all about. We got there around 11am and the wait was 45-60 minutes. We strolled around (in the 24 degree balminess!) the property and checked out the shops while we waited. If it had not been a gorgeous (although cold) day and if I had not been coming down with a cold, which made me somewhat lethargic, I probably would have really been chafing at the wait. As soon as we were seated, our waitress took our drink order and brought out hot biscuits and preserves. They were very good and we gobbled them down before she even took our food order. My husband had pancakes and sausage and I had country ham and eggs. My meal was fine, but nothing special. My husband's pancakes were ok, but his sausage was burned looking and basically inedible. Summary...go for the biscuits, but go when they are not busy, because the biscuits alone are not worth an hour's wait.

Dinner was at Peg Leg Porker's, a relatively new barbecue place. I had very good pulled pork with barbecue beans and mac and cheese. My husband had the Memphis style ribs. He said his ribs were cooked to perfection, but he would have liked a little less of the dry rub on them. Overall, a good meal.

Saturday, we had to head for home, but we had brunch at Tavern first. We both agreed that this was probably the overall best meal of the trip. My husband had the Tavern burger, which he said was one of the best burgers ever. It came with perfectly cooked fries. I had the local ham and cheese omelet and then, because I couldn't resist the description, the blueberry cornmeal waffle, with whipped mascarpone. The omelet was good, but the waffle is what I'm still thinking about 3 days later! The cornmeal base gave it a slightly different texture than your run of the mill waffle, and the blueberries were fresh and dripped juice on the plate that begged to be swiped up with another bite of waffle. The mascarpone was a great compliment, without being too sweet. Tavern was offering two for one brunch cocktails and we did have the Bellini Sparkle, which our server pretty accurately described as "sunshine in a glass".

We were staying at the Omni and there is an outpost of Bongo Java in the lobby area. Since it was very cold outside and since I was getting sick and craving hot beverages, I paid them several visits. I can see why there is Nashville love for this coffee. I had a vanilla latte the first time, but then discovered their specials board and ordered from that for my followup visits. The specials were really good, many made with local ingredients (local honey, local cream caramel, etc). I think the West End was my favorite.

All in all, it was a weekend of good casual food. The Loveless is the only place that I would skip, if I had to do it over...and I hope we get to do it over in the near future. After prowling this board, there are more places that I want to try!

Loveless Cafe,
Bongo Java,
Bongo East
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